Emily Ngarnal Evans
Emily Ngarnal Evans has lived all her life on Gununa, Mornington Island, educated in her culture and heritage by her Lardil father, Kulhangarr Kenneth Jacobs, her grandfather, the late Lindsey Roughsey, and grandfather of her mother’s uncle the late Dick Roughsey, all senior men, accomplished artists and custodians of their traditional country on Mornington Island.
Evans began painting from traditional stories and body painting during workshops held at Mornington Island Art in February of 2005. Her father’s stories and mark making were Evans’ inspiration to paint. She produced a work of great detail by borrowing her father’s delicate mark found inside the broad body marks of the Balibal, or Spotted Stingray.
Since these workshops Emily Evans has dedicated herself to becoming a painter and from time to time enjoys creating objects from clay. Her intricate mark making abilities are developing into a language that binds her and her fathers’ memory. Evans’s work represents the designs associated with the stories of the Balibal - spotted stingray and Wurruku - brown shark. This mark, born of her father’s wisdom and her rich cultural heritage has created a contemporary dialogue of her father’s story.
Emily Evans’s work is both a personal metaphor of her everlasting relationship with her father and a contemporary expression of her traditional beliefs, culture and country.
She was a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2005, 2013 and 2014, and in 2015 she was a finalist in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize and the Gold Coast Art Prize.
Emily Ngarnal Evans has exhibited widely in Australia and her work is featured in several major collections in Australia and abroad including the ARTIZON Museum (formerly Bridgestone Museum of Art) in Tokyo, Japan, the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, the Kerry Stokes Collection, La Trobe University Art Museum, Melbourne and Shepparton Art Museums.
© The Artist & Alcaston Gallery, 2021
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